Often I wonder if I travel to take pictures or do I take pictures as an excuse to travel. For me the two are intimately interconnected and I almost always have a camera on me no matter where I am. I freely admit that I prefer taking landscape and scenic photos to photos of people, but it is the photos of people that make for a more telling story. So when I travel, I really try to do both. Below are my non-technical tips for taking great photos.
- Don’t ask people to pose. Captured shots look so much better. Yes, sometimes people will get angry if you take their photo without asking, but take that risk. The results are worth it.
Would this photo have worked if the little girl looked up and smiled? Maybe, maybe not? But this way definitely works.
- Go where the people are. [ok, this one is obvious]
- Stop. Observe. Take a step back. Wait.
Had I just been taking photos of the parade I would have missed this decorated [and almost] naked lady dancing her way down the street.
- Never go with the first shot.
- Try a different angles–get on the ground, climb a few [hundred] stairs, get in the middle of the road or river. Use glass or water as a mirror and have the image reflected. Get close. Or step back. A change in perspective can sometimes make all the difference. You’ll never know until you try out different ways of photographing the same thing.
- Show off the results. Especially with kids–>Kids love to see photos of themselves. Even if you delete them all showing off the results can result in a little good will that may lead to a spectacular photo
- Edit with vengeance. Nobody really wants to see 500 of your travel photos. Not even your mom or best friend. Even you will start to go cross-eyed after looking at them. Edit to about 25-50 and not only will people think you are an awesome photographer, but they will be easier to show, too.